Explore To Try - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
19 hours ago

Nice clean, well maintained trail. May have some issues during heavy rain.

This was a great trail that both my dogs and I enjoyed. The natural bridge at the end was beautiful and fun to walk through. The only downside I found was that it was more heavily trafficked than I tend to enjoy and I had forgotten repellant so I spent about an hour getting seed ticks off of my body. Highly recommend using repellant here!!

The trail was well marked with easy access to the trailhead. There are plenty of trail maps but no bathrooms. The trail is very rocky and narrow making the rating of “moderate” accurate. My two children got excited for a bench at about two miles. They sat down only to realize a minute later that they were COVERED in termites! My five year old was in pure horror! We tried to finish the loop with the shortcut but after a quarter of a mile farther, we decided it was best to turn around. After returning back to the car and fully stripping their clothes, we also found three ticks on my husband and daughter. Heads up that this is not a young kid friendly hike. I wish we would’ve have gotten a chance to see the entire trail and what it has to offer. I gave it three stars because I’m sure it’s a good trial for others, but I wish I’d known it wasn’t for my family. Oh well, you live and you learn.

We parked at the Smoke and Davey Trailhead and took the Neale Trail. So great. Somewhat challenging, very cobwebby at 8 am but found a good stick to help with that. Very well maintained and pretty views everywhere. When the trail crossed the cement path that ran down the center of the trail system we occasionally saw another person but aside from that no other people once we were in the woods. Great views of the lake.

This was mostly a horse trail. The conservation department has re-routed the trail we were trying to follow causing us to take a wrong(?) turn and cutting a couple of miles off of our intended route. Instead of hiking down along the Niangua River we skirted the ridge above it. Also, according to the map, at one point we had a choice of three paths back to our vehicle. Fortunately, we chose the correct one as the other two ended up being closed to allow vegetation to regrow. However, we didn’t discover that until we saw signs where the other two “old” trails merged with the “new” one. Also, there was not one point where we could find an actual paper map to follow. We happened upon a campground that showed us where we were and where we needed to go. Be prepared to do a lot of up hill!

We just hiked this trail two days ago and really enjoyed the cliff caves, rocky creek beds and tunnel at the end. We took the East trail and it took about 4 hours there and back. However, we all returned with horrible, itching rashes on our ankles despite wearing long pants, heavy socks and bug repellant. I think seed ticks may be the culprit after doing some research as we all had tiny black specs freckling our feet and ankles after hiking. I don't know how to protect oneself from seed ticks but I would certainly look into it before hiking this trail again.

hiking
27 days ago

Thinking back to June when REI had an event here to help repair the trail. There is so much damage from horses & just unkept areas. There are no blazes & in some areas it's hard to see where it connects. There are some arrows painted on the pavement to direct you in a couple of spots. There were just to many places that the entrance you had to duck down to walk through the next 2 miles or so. You had to walk out in the open, over paved areas & grassy fields all unmarked. there are a lot of hills & muddy area where you have to straddle each side of the dirt to walk through. All of these things made for not a good hike.

road biking
29 days ago

Great trail. Take plenty of water!!

Trail starts at devil's well and contours through the hills with some steep sections. At the cave spur it becomes less maintained as it drops down to the river bottom. Along the river there is about 100 yards of stinging nettles that you have to walk through to get to the cave. Easily washed off at river, I filled water bottles with spring water and washed my legs on way back out. Trail along top goes through some pretty glades and finishes along a creek bottom coming out of the woods into the picnic area by a small lake. Really enjoyed this hike.

mountain biking
1 month ago

I only rode the Blue Trail which is about 3.1 miles. Decent place to ride but nothing to write home about. I wouldn't go there to ride this trail, I just happened to be in the area.

Plenty of ups and downs to get your heart rate up, but nothing technical at all on this trail.
All wooded, so no scenery or views to take I'm either. According to other reviews here, the Yellow Trail (about 12 miles) has more views.

Reasonably well marked, but not the best I've ridden.

This is a great trail with many fun spots and lovely trees. It is not well marked. We had to use GPS with the app to find our way and that wasn't always correct. I wouldn't go if it has rained in the last three days as there are many muddy trails in shady areas. We went many days after a rain and we had to straddle some parts. There are many places along the route with water for refilling bottles.

Super fun! The spring at the end of the tunnel is good for wading in. Not much elevation gain but there are a few steep climbs. A lot of tall grass and shrubs so definitely bring bug spray.

Gets crowded with bikers and runners.
Fun little walk

Great little trail just outside the city. We did ~5.8 miles in ~2.25 hours connecting different trails. Some flat, some paved, some rooty, some rocky, a few small hills for a little more challenge in some places. Ticks are definitely present now (mid-June). Lots of shade on most trails, but quite a bit of sun exposure too. Bring plenty of water in the summer heat. Saw lots of butterflies and dragonfly-like things, and one little bitty harmless snake off the path. The observation deck had some nice purple and orange wildflowers as well. Appreciated no traffic sounds. Will definitely come back.

This was a nice trail once you got to the wooden section off of the asphalt. Would recommend to friends.

A friend and I hiked part of the orange trail and all of the red trail on a recent Saturday. Our whole hike was about 7 miles. Even though we hiked during the middle of the day, the trail was partly shaded and comfortable in temperature. This was my first visit to Shawnee Mission Park, and it is beautiful! The visitor's center staff is very friendly and provides free detailed maps. Like some other reviews mention, there are some large rocks and tree roots on the trail. Since we were hiking, this was not a problem, but it may be a challenge for a beginning biker. I can't wait to go back and try the other trails!

Great trail, was really clear and we'll marked. Natural Tunnel was terrific. Trail was 7.4 miles round trip. This is a out and back trail and not a loop. The trail ends at the tunnel.

Great for trail running. I prefer to run it in reverse. It isn’t as hard on your feet and knees at the end when you end at the trail head. The full trail is beautiful, but the shortcut is just as challenging.

I did a small backpacking trip with a few teenagers on this trail, and we all had a blast. Well marked trails and a nice campground!

hiking
2 months ago

The loop trail and out and back trail to the cave total 5.3 miles. The loop trail mostly goes through forest but there are a couple of glades and some nice bluff views of the valley around the Current River.

Cave Spring is the highlight of the trail. Toward the bottom of the trail leading to the cave there are about 100 yards of stinging nettles that you will have to wade through before coming to the cave. You can then walk on a path back into the cave a little ways or stand in the Current River and enjoy the view of the cave and watch Northern Rough-winged Swallows flying about. The trail back to the trailhead follows for quite a ways what looks like an old logging road.

Good trail for conditioning.

My go-to trails in the area. rocky, rooty, and varied.

I love the solitude of this trail. I run it weekly.

Agree with previous comments regarding how horse traffic has ruined the trails for runners and hikers. Very narrow paths and lots of uphill/downhill trench straddling due to muddy conditions. Only saw 3 others besides our group yesterday and no horses. If you tire, there isn’t any place to rest. I’ll be back, though when the weather is cooler.

Trail Condition:
A few muddy spots, and fallen trees

Issues:
Equestrians destroying the paths, not well marked trails during road crossings, damn connection trail is marked with No Trespassing sign.

Experience:
Overall it was a fun trail. Not as hard as most people make it sound but for Kansas its a good trail. My favorite section was the uphill grade on the west side of the dam.

In town for work decided to get out rather than sit in a hotel room all weekend. The trails were good but I have to agree with the other reviews that it’s a little difficult to navigate. Luckily a couple running the trails guided me to the best way back to the parking lot.
Wish I had my mountain bike with me looks like these trails would be fun on two wheels

mountain biking
2 months ago

This trail is great for a family ride, single adventure, jog or walk on. The underpasses make it very pedestrian friendly with a great environment to take your stress away. You'll pass along many neighborhoods as well as store fronts that will aid in your thirst or hunger needs. I've riden nearly all of the trail it doesn't disappoint!

hiking
2 months ago

very nice hike! some areas could be marked better for the beginner but overall a great hike.

I loved this trail. Just make sure you give yourself enough time to complete and take your time. Would like to come back again. Very beautiful and easy to find. If you don’t want to finish all the way, there is a short cut you can take to take across the path to the finish. Not sure exactly where it’s at but after the 3rd mile maybe. I took it. Lol would have liked to go all the way around if I had enough daylight.

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